Boris Onishchenko

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameBoris Grigoryevich•Onishchenko
Used nameBoris•Onishchenko
Nick/petnamesBoris Dis-onyshchenko
Original nameБорис Григорьевич•Онищенко
Other namesBorys Hryhorovych Onyshchenko, Борис Григорович Онищенко
Born19 September 1937 in Berezniaky, Poltava (UKR)
Measurements178 cm / 74 kg
AffiliationsDynamo Kyiv, Kyiv (UKR)
NOC Soviet Union
Nationality Ukraine
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 2
Bronze 0
Total 3


Boris Onishchenko, the best Soviet modern pentathlete in the 1970s, is probably best known for being disqualified for cheating at the 1976 Olympics. At the Olympic Games, Onishchenko had won already gold in the 1972 team event, individual silver in 1972 and team silver in 1968 and went to the 1976 Olympics as one of the favorites to win both the individual and team event with the Soviet team. The closest rivals to the Soviets were considered the British team and after the first event, Soviets were closely behind the Brits, but this was supposed to change in the second event – fencing.

Onishchenko, who was known as a very strong fencer was expected to win the fencing event. While Onishchenko was fencing with Brit Adrian Parker, something odd was noticed, as Onishchenko’s sword registered a hit although he did not appear to have come close to one. In the next match against Jeremy Fox, the same thing happened. The Brits requested that Onishchenko’s sword be inspected and it was found to be rigged so that it could register a hit even when one had not been made. Onishchenko was disqualified, which resulted in the elimination of the Soviet team. The Brits went on to win their first Olympic gold in modern pentathlon, but Onishchenko was banned for life from sports, and later given the nickname Boris Dis-onyshchenko.

Besides his success at the Olympic Games, Onishchenko was also successful at the World Championships. He was the individual champion in 1971 and won the team titles in 1969, 1971, 1973 and 1974. He also won two silvers (1969 in individual and 1970 in team event) and four bronzes (1967 in team and 1970, 1973, 1974 in individual event). Onishchenko was also Soviet champion three times (1969, 1970, 1976).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1968 Summer Olympics Modern Pentathlon URS UKR Boris Onishchenko
Individual, Men (Olympic) 5
Team, Men (Olympic) Soviet Union 2 Silver
1972 Summer Olympics Modern Pentathlon URS UKR Boris Onishchenko
Individual, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
Team, Men (Olympic) Soviet Union 1 Gold
1976 Summer Olympics Modern Pentathlon URS UKR Boris Onishchenko
Individual, Men (Olympic) DQ
Team, Men (Olympic) Soviet Union DQ